In the year 2005, Super Mario Striker was the last Mario game to appear on the GameCube. She makes sure that buzz generated by my group of friends for this game was pretty limited. Two years later we had Supercharged Mario Strikers on the Wii and 15 years later we will be offered Mario Strikers: Battle League for Nintendo Switch!
Game and images copied courtesy of Nintendo
Played on Nintendo Switch for review
For those who haven’t guessed it yet with the soccer field, soccer apparel and soccer ball, Mario Strikers: Battle League is a soccer game.
In this version of this sport, teams are made up of 5 players including the goalkeeper, a Boom Boom that we don’t control.
Among the controllable players on the field we can choose from 10 favorite Mushroom Kingdom characters that we can find in all other games of our favorite plumber.
Our characters’ stats can be modified with accessories that can be purchased in the game shop with in-game money. Currently no DLC! phew!
Few modes are available, campaign mode boils down to a series of tournaments without a story, while a league system has been implemented in online games.
The great twist of the game is that it is possible to make Hyper Strikes when certain conditions are met. Thanks to Superkick you get the chance to score two points in one go.
In games of 4 minutes each, we can use objects, slide towards our opponents, play passes and shoot at goal. One of the goals of the game is to get perfect timing on each of these maneuvers.
These fairly simple actions allow us to follow the frenzied action and busy screen as eight people can compete at once!
I think that Mario Strikers: Battle League is a fun football game. The learning curve is quite steep considering the “complicated, albeit simple” mechanics. Serious gamepad players will quickly master the controls.
Then what looks like very messy terrain will eventually become easier and easier for our brains to read. Between managing items and our characters chasing the ball, we get used to the very fast energy of the game.
Once I got to that stage, I found a real joy in exploring different strategies and character combinations in my stable.
On the other hand that it’s always the same game for 4 minutes, I have to admit that I felt tired after about 30 minutes of gameplay. Instead of feeling like a full game as such, it felt like I was still playing the same very long mini-game.
Let me explain: with the terrain never changing (except aesthetically) and a small cast of characters, the games often come back to the same thing.
The strength of 4-minute games is that they don’t last long, their weakness is that they prevent lasting tension from building up while at the same time losing their meaning.
Each character has a unique animation of their own hyperstrike This is really cool, but after watching it multiple times, you can feel the effect of repetition.
All parts are a bit too similar in lack of story, stakes and depth.
I really feel like Mario Strikers: Battle League is a game made to be played with others as it turns into a speciesOvercooked jock
The game seems pretty well balanced to me to avoid cheap shots, for example to avoid tripping players not in possession of the ball by giving an item to the offending team. That being said, I feel like players with a lot of power and shooting ability are preferred.
With fewer characters than the last game released fifteen years ago, I think this game was “the one” (you can’t see me but I’m waving) for providing an amazing gaming experience.
Artificial intelligence is a bit silly sometimes. Solo, I’ve often wondered what my teammates are doing in a strange place on the pitch. Since the goalkeeper is also controlled by 0 and 1, the result of the shots on goal is very random.
In the end what am I thinking? It’s fun but repetitive. In my opinion, it’s more like Mario Party games than complex games like Super Smash.
This game’s flaws are its qualities and its qualities are its flaws. The choice was made to make this game easy and it has all the pros but also the cons. The game’s skeleton is fun as it’s covered in beautiful skin, but it lacks organs and, more importantly, tone.
You’ll have fun with Mario Strikers: Battle League, but you’d better play 30 minutes at a time.